Ray Marshall Center researcher Tara C. Smith will be making a presentation entitled “Employment Issues and Services for Clients” at the 2011 Texas Association of Community Action Agencies (TACAA) Conference. TACAA is a private non-profit corporation formed in 1968 comprising several Community Action Agencies working to alleviate poverty in Texas. The organization’s mission is to provide coordination, information and a unified voice for Community Action Agencies in advocacy, policy, legislative and programmatic issues, as well as hunger relief programs affecting families. The annual conference provides an opportunity for TACAA members to share information and training. This year’s conference will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Austin May 25-27. Registration for the conference is available online at this link.
This spring and early summer, Dr. Chris King, Tara C. Smith, and Dan O’Shea are conducting field research in the states of Washington, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas as part of a national research team conducting a two-year study for the National Association of State Workforce Agencies under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration to assess the implementation of the workforce and unemployment insurance provisions of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).
The study examines the effects of Recovery Act on workforce programs that provide income support to the unemployed and employment and training services designed to speed reemployment through improved job search techniques, better information about job openings, job training, and other aspects of upgrading worker skills. The study focuses primarily upon the activities states and local areas have undertaken as a result of the Recovery Act. The programs investigated include the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title I programs (adult and dislocated worker only), Unemployment Insurance (UI), Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), the Wagner-Peyser Act/Employment Services program, and Reemployment Services for UI recipients, as well as system-wide issues such as green jobs, workforce staffing, and the use of labor market information affected by the Recovery Act provisions.
The ARRA study began in July 2009, and the Department of Labor recently released the first year’s report on April 25. The ongoing second round, state/local studies will contribute to a final national report next year synthesizing findings from the twenty states involved in the project. For more information about RMC’s work in the ARRA study, please click here.
On April 26, Dr. Chris King, director of the Ray Marshall Center, gave a lecture entitled “Keeping Austin Weird…or At Least Highly Educated: Results from the Student Futures Project” to members of the UT Quest Program. The presentation reviewed the background, overview and latest data from the Student Futures Project, an initiative that seeks to monitor and track student transitions from high school to postsecondary education or onto the labor force. The UT Quest Program provides individuals opportunities for continuing education and learning, regardless of age. The goal of UT Quest is to “provide its members, who reflect a very wide range of professional and life experiences, with continuing intellectual growth in a campus environment.
In a testimony before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, Ray Uhalde, Workforce/Education Policy vice-president at Jobs for the Future, cited research by Drs. Chris King and Daniel Schroeder and Ray Marshall Center researchers to affirm the positive impacts of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and urge Congress in its reauthorization. The report Net Impact Estimates for Services Provided through the Workforce Investment Act, published by the Ray Marshall Center in 2005, showed that individuals receiving WIA services experienced improved outcomes for employment and earnings.
Congress, faced with the difficult challenge to reduce the deficit, is considering drastically reducing funding to many employment and training program. One major consideration seeks to carry-over unspent workforce program funding from 2011 into the next program year and eliminate new funding for the 2012 program year. Uhalde warns that the assumption that carry-over funding will be substantial and sufficient enough to continue WIA programs is inaccurate because it fails to recognize obligated funds, or funds that are unspent because they are set aside to continue individual’s multi-semester training. In other words, the funds carried over can support existing participants in workforce programs but there will be no funding to support new participants.
As debates in Congress continue regarding WIA reforms and reauthorization, Uhalde highlights innovations and improvements since 1998 that deliver enhanced outcomes for both jobseekers and employers in today’s competitive economy. These program innovations include emphasis of longer-term high demand training, employer engagement, partnerships with community colleges, sectoral job strategies, mapping of career pathways, and strategies focused at the regional level. These changes have helped to strengthen the services delivered by the workforce development system while also expanding system’s flexibility to better fit today’s dynamic economy.
The Ray Marshall Center has been at the forefront in the implementation and evaluation of these new innovations to add data and information to these policy discussions. In 2008, the Center designed and launched a dual-generation sectoral job strategy in Tulsa for parents of children in Head Start that enables long-term economic self-sufficiency while strengthening educational investments in their children. At the local level, the Center’s researchers have conducted evaluations of short- and long-term workforce training programs in Travis County and provided recommendations for ongoing program improvement. The Center is also leading several research programs to identify and evaluate factors linked to successful transitions from secondary to post-secondary education and onto the labor market.
The LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas held a Professional Report Symposium on April 22. Nine students from the 2012 graduating class presented their semester long research project. Amna Khan, graduate research assistant at the Ray Marshall Center and graduating student from LBJ School’s Master in Public Affairs program, presented her report evaluating the effectiveness of public-private partnerships in education in Pakistan, the factors that relate to the success or failure of these education programs, and the key challenges emerging from these partnerships.
In her research, Amna analyzed primary data taken from in-person site visits and stakeholder interviews at Public-Private Partnership schools in Pakistan and secondary data provided through evaluation reports from donor agencies and Pakistan’s ministry of education. Research findings revealed that these partnerships have had mixed outcomes, with results largely dependent on the design of the design of the partnerships. The report includes guidelines for designing successful public-private partnerships and concludes with a recommendation to establish a national policy that regulates, ensures accountability and monitors performance of these partnerships.
At the Ray Marshall Center, Amna works with Dr. Daniel Schroeder in the evaluation and analysis of child support enforcement programs. The Ray Marshall Center congratulates Amna on her professional report and upcoming graduation this May.
The Foundation for Child Development has awarded the Ray Marshall Center a grant of $218,219 to support the first two phases of the Dual-Generation Strategy Initiative, a multi-year project aimed at providing quality early and primary education programs (PreK-3rd) to children from low-income families, and effective workforce development and skills training to their parents. The objectives in the project are to improve simultaneously educational outcomes for the children and employment outcomes for the parents, ultimately leading to long-term learning and economic success for both generations. The project also seeks to provide new data and to encourage widespread implementation of dual-generation strategies among policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels.
Dr. Chris King, along with Center researchers Dr. Bob Glover and Tara C. Smith, will implement the project. The first phase begins in April 2011 and includes gathering information, developing the project’s framework, identifying participants, and convening with key stakeholders. The second phase will begin in fall 2011 and centers on development of a detailed implementation plan for the initiative and selection of pilot sites. Subject to garnering additional funding and partnerships, the third phase will be the pilot implementation, which is targeted to begin June 2012. The fourth phase will occur throughout the entire project period and focuses on developing the research agenda and performing ongoing evaluation of the initiative.
The Foundation for Child Development (FCD) is a national private philanthropy in New York City dedicated to promoting a new beginning for American education from PreKindergarten through Third Grade (PreK-3rd). PreK-3rd Grade Education is a seamless learning continuum, connecting high-quality PreK programs with high-quality elementary schools, to create a well-aligned primary education for all our nation’s children. The Foundation promotes the well-being of children, and believes that families, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and governments at all levels share complementary responsibilities in the critical task of raising new generations.
On May 9, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) will host a 40th Anniversary Policy Series Event in Washington D.C. entitled “Developing America’s Workforce – Learning from 40 Years of Policy and Practice to Inform the Next Generation.” Details and registration information for the event are below:
Developing America’s Workforce: Learning from 40 Years of Policy and Practice to Inform the Next Generation
May 9 | 3 – 4:30 p.m. | Washington, D.C. | Register Now
The President has prioritized creating a competitive workforce to meet a changing global economy. While employers are beginning to hire again, structural problems in the labor market will continue to keep unemployment levels high in the coming years and limit economic mobility for low-income workers. Join us for a high-level bipartisan discussion of lessons we can draw from the last four decades of workforce policy to help the nation effectively navigate its immediate and long-term labor market challenges. This event will be held in Washington D.C. at Dirksen Senate Office Building, SD-562. It is part of CLASP’s 40th anniversary policy series, Policy and Promise for Low-Income People in America.
Moderator: Kwame Holman, Congressional Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour
- Ray Marshall, U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Carter Administration
- William E. Brock, U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Reagan Administration
- Steven Gunderson, Republican Congressman from Wisconsin 1980-1996.
- Roberts T. Jones, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training in the Reagan and Bush Administrations
- Kitty Higgins, Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration
On Apr. 4, the Texas High School Project along with the Urban League’s of Texas – Austin, Greater Dallas & North Central Texas, and Houston Area organized the State of Urban Education in Texas Forum held at the AT&T Executive Training Center at the University of Texas in Austin. The event provided an opportunity for learning and exchange between researchers, policymakers, community leaders, and education professionals. Key topics presented at the forum included updates on current education policies and legislative issues, ongoing research and best practices in the field, and also trends and outlooks for improving education programs and outcomes.
Dr. Chris King, Ray Marshall Center director, gave a presentation entitled “College & Career Readiness: Insights from the Central Texas Student Futures Project.” The presentation provided an overview of the Ray Marshall Center’s research to identify factors and strategies for improving students’ college enrollment and completion rates, as well as strategies to improve employment outcomes for individuals beyond traditional schooling age.
For more information about the Central Texas Student Futures Project, visit their website at this link.
On April 29, Deanna Schexnayder, associate director the Ray Marshall Center and senior research scientist, will join a panel of education experts and researchers to discuss “Higher Education Access and Success”. Panelists will provide information and answer questions on higher education policy, ongoing research, and public and private research funding organizations. The panel discussion is part of the three-day 2011 TG Annual Training Conference, which provides an opportunity for exchange between higher education professionals, student services professionals, funders, and policymakers. Registration is required and can be completed at the link below.
2011 TG Conference details:
Date: April 26 – 29, 2011
Location: AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at UT Austin.
Registration can be completed online at this link: http://www.tgslc.org/tgconference/index.cfm